New York, NY,
09
May
2022
|
18:02 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

Jazz at Lincoln Center Announces 27th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition & Festival Winners

First Place Winner: 
Osceola County School for the Arts
(Kissimmee, FL)

Second Place Winner: 
Foxboro High School  
(Foxboro, MA)

Third Place Winner:
Orange County School of the Arts
(Santa Ana, CA)

Jazz at Lincoln Center today announced the three top-placing high school jazz bands in the nation and more than 35 other individual and section awards in the prestigious 27th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival at Frederick P. Rose Hallhome of Jazz at Lincoln Center and the hallmark program for the largest jazz education network in the world. Grounded in the nonprofit JALC’s 34-year history of educational excellence in jazz, Essentially Ellington has fostered the talent and appreciation for jazz music in over one million young musicians

At a ceremony on Saturday night, Wynton Marsalis presented awards to each of the 15 finalist high school jazz bands. Osceola County School for the Arts accepted the first place trophy and an award of $5,000. Foxboro High School accepted the second place trophy and an award of $2,500. Orange County School of the Arts  accepted the third place trophy with an award of $1,000.  The remaining ten bands were each awarded $500. All monetary awards are to be used for improving the jazz education programs of each respective high school. 

Through the Essentially Ellington program, the 15 finalist high school jazz bands were immersed in mentoring, jam sessions, and workshops. The competition culminated in a blowout Saturday nights concert on the iconic Jazz at Lincoln Center stage where each top-placing band performed with their choice Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra member as a soloist. The concert also featured the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – whose members served as mentors for the finalist bands throughout the week – performing repertoire made famous by Duke Ellington.

“The most important part of a competition is the communal element, which allows us to come together and embrace the creativity of others,” said Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. “What I love the most about Essentially Ellington is seeing bands sit and listen to their colleagues, and experience a depth of feeling about the music that’s genuine. My hope for the future is for this feeling to continue growing deeper with meaning. We need these young musicians because we need change, and the humanity, understanding, and depth in musicianship that they bring.”

In the spirit of creativity and continuing the jazz legacy, Jazz at Lincoln Center also recognized the winner of the 10th Annual J. Douglas White Essentially Ellington Student Composition and Arranging ContestSkylar Tang from Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, California.  Skylar’s composition was recorded by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at their annual Essentially Ellington recording session on Wednesday, May 4. In addition, Skylar received a $1,000 cash prize, a composition lesson with Ted Nash, and a free trip to New York City for the weekend.

Arts education has been a pillar of Jazz at Lincoln Center since it was founded over thirty years ago, with the Essentially Ellington competition serving as a programming cornerstone for 27 of those years. As part of the more than 1,000 digital programs made available by Jazz at Lincoln Center since 2020, the Essentially Ellington Festival was held virtually in 2020 and 2021, expanding its reach internationally and connecting high school students to jazz resources and experts online.

This annual Competition & Festival marks the culmination of the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program, which includes non-competitive regional festivals around the country, free transcriptions of original Duke Ellington recordings, additional teaching resources, free adjudication, and more. The Essentially Ellington program has reached over 7,000 schools and independent bands in 58 countries. The program provides students with insight into American vernacular music and jazz, teaches about the communal history of jazz in a sociopolitical context, and builds awareness and appreciation of historical and contemporary jazz musicians.

Photos of the three finalist bands can be found here. Credit should be attributed to: Lawrence Sumulong/Jazz at Lincoln Center. 

B-roll can be found here

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 27th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival Awards:  

1st PLACE
Osceola County School for the Arts
Kissimmee, FL
(Director, Jason Anderson)

2nd PLACE
Foxboro High School
Foxboro, MA
(Director, Aaron Bush)

3rd PLACE
Orange County School of the Arts
Santa Ana, CA
(Director, John Reynolds)

HONORABLE MENTION RHYTHM SECTION:
New World School of the Arts
Osceola County School for the Arts
Mount Si High School

OUTSTANDING RHYTHM SECTION:
Beloit Memorial High School
Byron Center High School
Orange County School of the Arts
Roosevelt High School
Newark Academy
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

HONORABLE MENTION SAXOPHONE SECTION:
Beloit Memorial High School

OUTSTANDING SAXOPHONE SECTION:
Jazz House Kids
Plano West Senior High School
Orange County School of the Arts
Foxboro High School
Roosevelt High School
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
Mount Si High School

HONORABLE MENTION REEDS:
Osceola County School for the Arts

OUTSTANDING REEDS:
Byron Center High School

HONORABLE MENTION TROMBONE SECTION:
Byron Center High School

OUTSTANDING TROMBONE SECTION:
New World School of the Arts
Osceola County School for the Arts
Mount Si High School

OUTSTANDING TRUMPET SECTION:
Jazz House Kids
Noblesville High School
Newark Academy
Osceola County School for the Arts
Mount Si High School

OUTSTANDING BRASS SECTION:
Bothell High School
Foxboro High School
Osceola County School for the Arts
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

OUTSTANDING BRASS WITH PLUNGER:
Mount Si High School

BEST BAND BALANCE:
Mount Si High School

HONORABLE MENTION PIANO:
James Pakhomou - Jazz House Kids
Marshall Graves - Newark Academy

OUTSTANDING PIANO:
Kai Wong - Beloit Memorial High School
Isaac Goodman - Rio Americano High School
Nathan Tatsuta - Orange County School of the Arts
Theodore Shouse - Roosevelt High School
Ben Collins-Siegel - Newark Academy

HONORABLE MENTION GUITAR:
Benjamin Carter - Foxboro High School

OUTSTANDING RHYTHM GUITAR:
Lance Taber - Mount Si High School

HONORABLE MENTION BANJO:
Maco Dacanay - Roosevelt High School

OUTSTANDING VIOLIN:
Jacquie Lee - Jazz House Kids

HONORABLE MENTION BASS:
Ruth-Mary Shackelford - Rio Americano High School
Joseph Thornbury - Noblesville High School
Cade Medearis - Plano West Senior High School
Sierra Hudson - New World School of the Arts

OUTSTANDING BASS:
Sam Konin - Jazz House Kids
Ryder Mendelson - Orange County School of the Arts
Grace Kaste - Roosevelt High School
Ben Collins-Siegel - Newark Academy

HONORABLE MENTION DRUMS:
Ethan Horn - Mount Si High School

OUTSTANDING DRUMS:
Jonathan Garrett - Beloit Memorial High School
Colton Wolfe - Byron Center High School
Christian St. Marseille - Orange County School of the Arts
Yoshi Stroh - Roosevelt High School
Alexander Polyakovsky - Roosevelt High School
Ben Schwartz - Newark Academy
Ethan Oliver - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

OUTSTANDING FLUTE:
Shyam Thandullu - Plano West Senior High School 

  HONORABLE MENTION CLARINET:
Lucas Netto - New World School of the Arts
Kiara Rouse - Osceola County School for the Arts

OUTSTANDING CLARINET:
Naoki Nikora - Beloit Memorial High School
Mark Ricco - Jazz House Kids
Paloma Cobbs-Silva - Rio Americano High School

OUTSTANDING SOPRANO SAXOPHONE:
Luke Toner - Orange County School of the Arts

OUTSTANDING ALTO SAXOPHONE:
Ginger Meyer - Jazz House Kids
Paloma Cobbs-Silva - Rio Americano High School
Nicolo Boselli - Plano West Senior High School
Noah Chirnomas - Newark Academy
Solomon Geleta - Osceola County School for the Arts
Nathaniel Wray - Mount Si High School

HONORABLE MENTION TENOR SAXOPHONE:
Trent Horio - Orange County School of the Arts
Kiara Rouse - Osceola County School for the Arts

OUTSTANDING TENOR SAXOPHONE:
Adarius Konche - Bothell High School
Oliver Kringel - Rio Americano High School
Owen Gwinn - Roosevelt High School
Ethan Lee - Newark Academy
Zeb Jewell-Alibhai - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

HONORABLE MENTION BARITONE SAXOPHONE:
Jackson McMorris - Rio Americano High School

OUTSTANDING BARITONE SAXOPHONE: 
Samuel Chung - Orange County School of the Arts

OUTSTANDING DOUBLER:
Emma Lacy - Foxboro High School

HONORABLE MENTION TROMBONE: 
Eamonn Rougvie - Beloit Memorial High School
Colin Thowtho - Rio Americano High School
Alex Heidelbaugh - Plano West Senior High School
Ethan Czaja - Byron Center High School
Leo Sui - Orange County School of the Arts
Sean Kelly - Foxboro High School
Luke Ramee - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
Urielle Lockwood - Mount Si High School

OUTSTANDING TROMBONE:
Colin Woniewski - Byron Center High School
Bruno Tzinas - New World School of the Arts
Andre Perlman - New World School of the Arts

HONORABLE MENTION TRUMPET:
Violet Mujica - Jazz House Kids

OUTSTANDING TRUMPET:
Ellie Prindle - Bothell High School
Alvaro Caravaca - Jazz House Kids
Levi Rozek - Noblesville High School
Nolan Kirkwood - Byron Center High School
Cameron Shave - Foxboro High School
Javier Gonzalez - Roosevelt High School
Sid Chalasani - Newark Academy
Nathaniel Williford - Osceola County School for the Arts
Zeb Jewell-Alibhai - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

THE SNOOKY YOUNG AWARD:
Nathaniel Williford - Osceola County School for the Arts

THE BENNY CARTER AND IRA SULLIVAN MULTI INSTRUMENT AWARD:
Zeb Jewell-Alibhai - Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble

THE ELLA FITZGERALD OUTSTANDING SOLOIST AWARD:
Emma Lacy - Foxboro High School

Each finalist band was chosen by a panel of judges comprised of distinguished jazz musicians and historians: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra trombonist Christopher Crenshaw; Joe Lovano; Carmen Bradford; and Jeff Hamilton. 

The 15 Finalists for Essentially Ellington 2022 (in alphabetical order): 
Beloit Memorial High School (Beloit, WI)
Bothell High School (Bothell, WA)
Byron Center High School (Byron Center, MI)
Foxboro High School (Foxboro, MA)
Jazz House Kids (Montclair, NJ)
Mount Si High School (Snoqualmie, WA)
New World School of the Arts (Miami, FL)
Newark Academy (Livingston, NJ)
Noblesville High School (Noblesville, IN)
Orange County School of the Arts (Santa Ana, CA)
Osceola County School for the Arts (Kissimmee, FL)
Plano West Senior High School (Plano, TX)
Rio Americano High School (Sacramento, CA)
Roosevelt High School (Seattle, WA)
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble (Raleigh, NC)

For more information, including background, history, and audio recordings of the Essentially Ellington repertoire, visit: jazz.org/ee  

The Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival is media-accessible via Jazz at Lincoln Center social media on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EssentiallyEllington, Twitter: @EssEllington, Instagram: @jazzdotorg.


Founding leadership support for Essentially Ellington is provided by 
The Jack and Susan Rudin Educational and Scholarship Fund; and Gail and Alfred Engelber.

Leadership support is provided by Jody and John Arnhold.

Major support is provided by Augustine Foundation; Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Fund; and The Weissman Family Foundation, Inc.

Generous support is provided by The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation; and Dr. J. Douglas White and the King-White Family Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Michelle Deal Winfield.

Leadership support for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s education programs is provided by Jody and John Arnhold, the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, and Sara Miller McCune.

Additional support is provided by The Craig E. Wishman Foundation.

Support is provided by Con Edison and Entergy.

Additional information may be found at jazz.org | Facebook: facebook.com/jazzatlincolncenter | Twitter: @jazzdotorg | Instagram: @jazzdotorg | YouTube: youtube.com/jalc | Livestream: jazz.org/live

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